After one month in the lovely chaos of India I was ready for more “structure and cleanness”. At the airport in Hong Kong I thought about the first days in India and how I learned to handle the daily life and how to get around there. So many things were to consider. This is why I was quiet proud that India felt familiar to me when I left. I kind of learned to flow there ;) So it had to happened again: Getting to know a new place and learning how to handle life there. When I left the immigration zone at the airport India was still in my head, but the world around me changed in seconds. I passed several baggage claims till I reached the one from India. It seemed the world was gathering at this place. The first one was from Germany, the second one from Italy, the third from the States and so on. A big mix of cultures and languages in one place. When I was at the one from Delhi the surrounding felt familiar. Some minutes later in the bus it felt all new to me when I was on the way to my airbnb. I used the Octopus card to pay for the bus and noticed that you can pay almost everywhere in Hong Kong with this card. One card for everything - very simple on the one hand and a perfect tracking and tracing system on the other hand.
In the afternoon I met my friend Jason and he showed me around in the area of my airbnb. I learned that different parts of the city specialize in different things to sell (electronics, female clothes, male clothes, food, etc.) Everything was pretty cheap and many things (of course) imported from the mainland (China). For dinner we met with Patrick and Toby. They are also friends I know through the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE). Because the last IACEA conference was in Tokyo we decided to have Sushi together. We talked about the good old times in Germany, Canada and Japan. It was wonderful meeting them all in their city.
On the 31st I took the ferry to Cheung Chau Island which is one of the many islands of Hong Kong. I visited a Taoist temple there, did some hiking in the nature and walked around the narrow streets in town. In the evening I met Patrick, his girlfriend Irene and Jason to celebrate the “Countdown” on the Sky Terrace at the Peak. We got some snacks and drinks and took a historic cable car up the mountain. The view over the city and the fire works for “Western New Years” were breathtaking. For my friends it was a good warm-up for the even longer fireworks for the Chinese New Years celebration in March 😉
We spent New Year’s day on Lantau Island and Irene and Patrick showed me the fisher village of Tai O. The highlight there was the fresh food they sold on the streets. We tasted a big variety during the afternoon and explored the village before heading to the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas and to the big Buddha statue next to it. In the evening we tasted more of the great variety of the very tasty local food.
The upcoming day was a pretty relaxed one. We chilled as Patrick and I got sick. I hung out at a Starbucks in the morning, got tea and wrote on the blog. Patrick and I had lunch together and we went on a HK Ding Ding tour afterwards. The Ding Ding is the nostalgic Hong Kong tramway at Hong Kong Island and a perfect way to see the area. After visiting Patrick at home and enjoying a tea together with his mum and him we headed out for the next reunion. So we spent a lovely evening with Emily and Wing I know from the IACEA and Jason and Toby.
I spent my last day in Hong Kong in the museum of history. As I went to museums in almost all the places I've been I started comparing what they explained to the visitors. And the basics were similar everywhere no matter if it was a history museum in Europe, Hawaii or Asia (and I guess it'll be the same in Latin America).
We always need our social surrounding, a group we belong to. Like the early population in the todays Hong Kong area who was of course fishermen, hunters and collectors. They developed their skills to have food in their boats and huts and improved their circumstances with better techniques and later technologies. They needed a language to communicate and developed thoughts about where they come from and by looking at the stars, the moon and sun about the question what's in the sky. For a good life and a good harvest they prayed to God's which also gave life a higher purpose. Moreover the arts were always a part of society to express themselves in a creative way, bring pleasure to life and to use it as another kind of transcendence. Haircuts, tattoos, colors on the skin, music and clothing styles became part of their identification. In addition a certain kind of architecture developed which was and is typical for the area. Another comparable thing in many cultures are parades and festivals and the idea of how to please the Gods (or a single God) with offerings. Love stories are important part in all cultures. Also the idea of having nice wedding ceremonies is found everywhere. So it's always similar things that different cultures on our planet "invented" independently and quiet often not knowing from each other. Just the ways how to express these similar things are different. Let's take music as an example. Music was developed everywhere. It's just the type of music which is different. And differences bring us variety. According to the motto "same tree of humanity but different branches".
And because all the different cultures have different ways to satisfy their basic need of hunger we decided on having German food on the last evening (after having Asian food the days before). Toby, Irene, Patrick, Jason and I enjoyed some German beers and heavy food before we had to say good-bye to each other. I almost had tears in my eyes. The time in Hong Kong showed again how important friends are. Like after saying good-by to Jason and Patrick at the airport in Frankfurt in 2016 after the exchange program it was again difficult to go different ways. And that's the best sign showing that the time you spent was a great one. It can't be better than when we connect as humans beings, as friends and share our culture, our beliefs, our values, our craziness and also our struggles and challenges. So thank you to all my wonderful friends in Hong Kong who made this journey and experience so special.
À la prochaine heure pile (2h, heure de Paris), MyAtlas sera coupé pour une durée de 15 minutes pour une maintenance.
Toute l'équipe vous remercie pour votre patience.